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We sequenced the genomes of 5,085 SARS-CoV-2 strains causing two COVID-19 disease waves in metropolitan Houston, Texas, an ethnically diverse region with seven million residents. The genomes were from viruses recovered in the earliest recognized phase of the pandemic in Houston, and an ongoing massive second wave of infections. The virus was originally introduced into Houston many times independently. Virtually all strains in the second wave have a Gly614 amino acid replacement in the spike protein, a polymorphism that has been linked to increased transmission and infectivity. Patients infected with the Gly614 variant strains had significantly higher virus loads in the nasopharynx on initial diagnosis. We found little evidence of a significant relationship between virus genotypes and altered virulence, stressing the linkage between disease severity, underlying medical conditions, and host genetics. Some regions of the spike protein - the primary target of global vaccine efforts - are replete with amino acid replacements, perhaps indicating the action of selection. We exploited the genomic data to generate defined single amino acid replacements in the receptor binding domain of spike protein that, importantly, produced decreased recognition by the neutralizing monoclonal antibody CR30022. Our study is the first analysis of the molecular architecture of SARS-CoV-2 in two infection waves in a major metropolitan region. The findings will help us to understand the origin, composition, and trajectory of future infection waves, and the potential effect of the host immune response and therapeutic maneuvers on SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Do sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) in the United States encounter disproportionate rates of victimization as compared with their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts? Answering this question has proved elusive because nationally representative victimization data have not included victims' sexual orientation or gender identity. The National Crime Victimization Survey, the nation’s primary source of representative information on criminal victimization, began documenting sexual orientation and gender identity in 2016 and released data publicly for the first time in 2019. We find SGMs disproportionately are victims across a variety of crimes. The rate of violent victimization for SGMs is 71.1 victimizations per 1000 people compared with 19.2 victimizations per 1000 people for those who are not SGMs. SGMs are 2.7 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than non-SGMs. These findings raise the importance of further considering sexual orientation and gender identity in victimization and interventions.


The efficacy and effectiveness of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in preventing high-grade cervical lesions have been shown. However, data to inform the relationship between quadrivalent HPV vaccination and the subsequent risk of invasive cervical cancer are lacking.


A recent genetic association study1 identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. A new study2 comprising 3,199 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and controls finds that this is the major genetic risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalization (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative). Here, we show that the risk is conferred by a genomic segment of ~50 kb that is inherited from Neanderthals and is carried by ~50% of people in South Asia and ~16% of people in Europe today.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) targets multiple organs and causes severe coagulopathy. Histopathological organ changes might not only be attributable to a direct virus-induced effect, but also the immune response. The aims of this study were to assess the duration of viral presence, identify the extent of inflammatory response, and investigate the underlying cause of coagulopathy.


Biomass-derived porous carbon materials are effective electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), with promising applications in low-temperature fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Herein, we developed a synthesis procedure that used spinach as a source of carbon, iron, and nitrogen for preparing porous carbon nanosheets and studied their ORR catalytic performance. These carbon sheets showed a very high ORR activity with a half-wave potential of +0.88 V in 0.1 M KOH, which is 20 mV more positive than that of commercial Pt/C catalysts. In addition, they showed a much better long-term stability than Pt/C and were insensitive to methanol. The remarkable ORR performance was attributed to the accessible high-density active sites that are primarily from Fe-N x moieties. This work paves the way toward the use of metal-enriching plants as a source for preparing porous carbon materials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage applications.


The global push for the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) against COVID-19 resulted in an ongoing discussion about the effectivity and toxicity of these drugs. Recent studies report no effect of (H)CQ on 28 day-mortality. We investigated the effect of HCQ and CQ in hospitalized patients on the non-ICU COVID-ward.


To estimate the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes associated with in-hospital cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in critically ill adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19).


To evaluate whether irregular or long menstrual cycles throughout the life course are associated with all cause and cause specific premature mortality (age <70 years).


Particularly at transitions of care points information concerning current medication tends to be incomplete. A medication chart that contains all essential information on current therapy is likely to be a helpful tool for patients and healthcare providers. We aimed to investigate any type of benefits associated with medication charts provided at transition points.